At 4:15 am, I wake up automatically thanks to two years of training by my cat, and find myself awake in bed facing a window through which I can see a wide stream.
The wide stream, which is called Daxi in Chinese, is the trunk stream in the middle part of the Oujiang River, the second longest river in East China's Zhejiang province.
Beijing, where I come from, is already rather hot and dry in mid-June. And I am yearning for a relaxing holiday in a quiet place with mountains and rivers.
In order to see the beautiful water, green woods and black mountains, as soon as I open my eyes in the morning I deliberately left the curtains open as I go to bed the previous night.
Despite the worry that something scary might stare at me through the wide windows during the night, I find myself safe and sound, reassured by old wooden furniture giving out the warmth it has absorbed over the years.
The previous night, while we drank homemade spirits on the terrace of the three-story building, a hostel called Yimojia, the hostess says she bought the old furniture from local residents in the ancient villages around.
The night is pitch black as Dagang town starts to fall asleep at 9:30 pm.
So, we light a candle, and in the candlelight, we see stars twinkling in the night sky.
Later, I stand by the rails on the terrace, looking into the darkness at the water and the woods across the river.